Gastritis is defined as inflammation of the lining of the stomach. This inflammation occurs when H. pylori or one of several other organisms infect the stomach. This is often associated with low levels of stomach acid. When stomach acid levels are very low, or chronically neutralized by antacids, H. pylori is less likely to be the cause and the overgrowth of others becomes more likely.
Other causes, some of which act through low stomach acid, include medications, alcohol, ingestion of corrosive substances and extreme physiological stress. Acute gastritis is often associated with a sudden and severe illness or trauma. The incidence is about 8 out of every 1,000 people.
Some people do not have symptoms, but if present then they usually include one or more of:
Sometimes the inflammation of the stomach lining can become so serious that an ulcer develops. Gastritis can be diagnosed by biopsy and specimen examination under a microscope, where the presence of increased white blood cells is seen.
The pain starts in the upper left part of your body and radiates through your back.
The pain is usually worse on an empty stomach, and reduced after eating.
If symptoms come on suddenly and severely, it is classed as acute gastritis. If it has lasted a long time (usually because of bacterial infection), it is chronic gastritis.
Neem extracts reduce the concentration of acid in the stomach and have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide relief from the effects of gastritis. Drink neem tea or ingest neem leaf powder as needed to protect the stomach and reduce discomfort.
Slippery elm's soothing mucilage effect has been used for disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. It is part of the herbal combination called "Robert's Formula", which is widely prized by naturopathic physicians for such intestinal inflammations as gastritis, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. For digestive disorders, taking 500-1,000mg of powder tid is often recommended. It may be used in lozenge form as well.
Once the stomach lining has been healed by the use of other agents, a hydrochloric acid (HCl) trial is often useful since it may have been an HCl deficiency that contributed to bacterial overgrowth and subsequent inflammation in the first place. Do not take HCl until the stomach lining has fully recovered, which usually takes at least a month.
Antibiotics are used to treat H. pylori and should be used to treat other bacterial overgrowths in the stomach as well. Since these overgrowths are usually responsible for the inflammation, eradication allows the stomach to heal and normal acid-control mechanisms to be restored.
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